BMW Group has launched a new electric vehicle charging service that gives owners access to thousands of public charge points through one account.
Called BMW Charging and Mini Charging, owners of the respective electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles can sign up for an account and charge through various providers via an RFID card or smartphone app.
The service provides access to more than 11,000 public charge points in the UK from various providers including BP Pulse, ESB, Osprey, and rapid chargers from Ionity. It also works at 173,000 chargers across Europe.
There are three tariffs on offer, starting with a pay-as-you-go service that gives access to all charge points, where you simply pay for what you use when you use it.
However, those that use public charge points regularly can pay a subscription fee for reduced rates at the charger. The BP Pulse package costs £7.85 per month and gives preferential pricing at the over 5,500 BP Pulse charge points, while the Ionity Plus package costs £11.30 and saves drivers 43p per kWh on Ionity’s fast chargers.
The BP Pulse package will be offered for free for the first 12 months to anyone who buys a new plug-in hybrid or electric BMW or Mini, while those who buy a new BMW iX3 or iX also get 12 months of Ionity Plus for free.
This sort of service is becoming increasingly common among car manufacturers, as one of the most frustrating things about EV ownership can be navigating the wide variety of charge providers.
For example, Mercedes-Benz offers Mercedes me Charge, while Hyundai has a service called Charge myHyundai.